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LGBTQ+ Care


Student Health and Counseling is devoted to providing an inclusive environment and supporting a diverse Penn community. Our nondiscrimination policy ensures high-quality services regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity (as does all of Penn). Wellness at Penn is nationally recognized as an LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader by the HRC’s Healthcare Equality Index.

Our LGBTQ+ Health Working Group oversees planning and protocols specific to the needs of LGB/Q and Transgender patients. Our team has special expertise in the area of LGBTQ+ Health, but all staff are given essential training on LGBTQ+ inclusive care. 

What has Penn Student Health done to support LGBTQ+ Health?

  • We provide staff education on LGB/Q and transgender issues.
  • We partner frequently with the Penn LGBT Center and the Penn Medicine Program for LGBTQ+ Health.
  • We conduct research on issues relevant to LGBTQ+ communities
  • We educate others across campus and outside Penn about LGB/Q and transgender health issues
  • We have hired “out” clinical staff.
  • We helped advocate for transgender health inclusion in the student health insurance plan.

Remember:

  • All services are confidential.
  • There are no copayments required for medical visits, regardless of which health insurance plan you have.
  • All full-time students are eligible to be seen (you’ve already paid for it through your University Clinical Fee). Part-time students may pay the annual (or semester) fee if they wish to be seen here.

Trans healthcare includes:

  • Comprehensive, multidisciplinary services including primary care, gynecologic care, and wellness services
  • Gender-affirming hormone therapy
  • Gender-affirming gynecological and sexual health care, including cervical cancer screening/pelvic exams
  • Referrals for gender-affirming surgery
  • Referrals to specialists and other trans competent providers in the Philadelphia area

What should I expect at my first visit if I’m interested in hormone therapy?

  • We utilize the informed consent model of care for hormone therapy — this means that all of your care will be provided by a medical professional who specializes in transgender healthcare. We may refer you to our counseling services at your request, or for additional support and resources.
  • Be prepared for your appointment to last at least 30-60 minutes.
  • Your provider will inquire about past medical and surgical history, family medical history, current medications, and allergies.
  • Your provider will perform a basic physical exam and may order laboratory tests.
  • Your provider will ask about your gender experience and goals of transition, if any.
  • Your provider will go over available options for gender affirming hormones. We will review the permanent and reversible effects of the medicines you may be prescribed, possible side-effects and how medical transition may affect your body.
  • You will be given plenty of time and many opportunities to ask questions about your medical transition.
  • You will be given a copy of the informed consent form to take home and review.

What should I expect during follow-up appointments?

  • Your provider will see you for a follow-up appointments at regular intervals, and on an as-needed basis.
  • Prior to starting gender affirming hormones, the provider will review your lab results (if drawn), we will review the informed consent for gender-affirming hormone therapy again and you will be asked to sign it.
  • Your provider will then prescribe your hormones.
  • If you require injections, the provider or a nurse will teach you a safe injection technique. Click the links below for more information!

At all of these appointments, your provider will continue to promote health and wellness. This is something we do for all of our patients. You will be counseled on healthy diet and exercise habits, appropriate immunizations, STI & HIV testing, and pregnancy prevention (if applicable).

Schedule an appointment online or call 215-746-3535.